A well-designed and thought-out wrap will set your vehicles apart from the competition and will be seen by potentially hundreds of people each day. For the most significant impact, you will want to take care to avoid these common mistakes when designing vehicle fleet graphics and vinyl car wraps.
1. Designing for the Wrong Size Vehicle
Before making any design choices, consider, or let your graphic designer know the exact makes, models, years, and sizes of your vehicles. A vehicle wrap must be designed precisely and individually to fit. Creating without this information could produce a wrap that does not fit or end up with design elements that run off the vehicle. This would significantly hurt the impact of your wrap design.
Even when you have vehicle information and specifications, be sure to take measurements still. Refrain from trusting the blueprint template. Different year models and any customization may have altered the vehicle’s body. When designing graphics for a vehicle fleet, remember that each type, whether your business uses buses, cars, trucks, trailers, or a combination of these, will need a different design layout to fit.
2. Ignoring Curves and Details
A vehicle is not flat. It is a three-dimensional structure with doors, handles, curves, lights, and many other protruding objects. Every element of a vehicle’s body needs to be considered, from the gas cap to the door seam to the grill. You must avoid placing design elements such as text or logos near areas that may distort or cut off the graphic.
3. Choosing the Wrong Material
While car wraps are made of vinyl, many types of vinyl options exist. It’s best not to try to save money with vinyl selection. Go with a trusted car wrap specialist who uses high-quality vinyl. When you’ve invested time and money into great vehicle wrap design, you do not want to worry about discoloration, bubbling, peeling, and other issues that will reflect poorly on your brand.
It may seem obvious, but have your design triple-checked for spelling errors, wrong information, and typos before it goes to print. A vehicle wrap made with typos, incorrect phone numbers, or the wrong website will not only be ineffective advertising but will make your company look unprofessional.
5. Illegible Fonts and Graphics
As a vehicle wrap is a form of mobile advertising, all information must be visible while the ad is in motion. While certain fonts might look fantastic on the computer or a stationary sign, it is best to stick with legible, clear font options for vehicle fleet graphics. Sans serif fonts, such as Arial and Helvetica, are known to be the easiest to read. Do not go with any script fonts for vehicle graphics.
The images on a wrap also need to be clear. Fuzzy, low-quality images can affect the appearance of the entire graphic. For a professional look, only use high-resolution, crisp images in vehicle wrap design.
6. Too Busy
Too many words, images, or other design elements will take away from the readability of your wrap design. Your vehicle fleet will only sometimes be parked or standing still. When your cars or trucks are in motion, viewers need to be able to take in the important messaging quickly. Images, graphics, logos, and other elements should elevate the message, not distract from it.
Contact information such as phone numbers, websites, and social handles should be placed in prominent areas on the vehicle’s body. Potential customers may not see the ad straight on, so legibility from different angles is also essential. If in doubt about whether your design is too busy, think to yourself, could I read this if it was driving past me at 50 mph?
7. Poor Color Choice
Color is used in design for emotional impact, to grab attention, and to represent a company or brand. As a vehicle wrap is an advertisement usually viewed quickly, you want your brand to be immediately brought to the viewer’s mind. Be sure that your wrap design reflects the rest of your branding and fits in with your company’s marketing strategy.
Whatever colors you choose, high contrast is critical for visibility. For example, if your design has a dark background, any text will need to be light-colored to stand out.
8. Not Prepping the Vehicle Properly
Even high-quality vinyl wraps will require prep work before installation. Your vehicles should be clean of dirt and grease to prevent the vinyl from bubbling, lifting, or wrinkling. Wash down the entire surface of the vehicle with soap and water. Avoid using car wax or any shampoo containing wax, which may prevent the wrap from sticking. Ensure the vehicle is completely dry. Use a soft microfiber cloth to wipe dry, getting into all ridges and seams.
When designing fleet graphics, it is easy to get carried away with the look of the wrap and forget about the logistics of creating a mobile advertisement. Remember these common mistakes to ensure that your vehicle wraps are clear, easy to read, and impactful.